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Home » Programs » Robert Novak Journalism Fellowships

Robert Novak Journalism Fellowships

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The Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program is nurturing a new generation of serious and enterprising journalists. This prestigious, year-long program allows writers early in their careers to pursue projects they otherwise would be unable to research and report. There are three tiers to the program: Fellowships provide up to $35,000 in grant money and expense assistance. Full Fellowships, which require that recipients devote their full-time efforts to their project, provide up to $75,000. Alumni Fund Fellowships, supported by donations from Novak Fellows past and present, provide support for recipients to write one in-depth, major essay on their topic.

Newly selected Novak Fellowship recipients are announced each year at the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Awards Dinner. More than 250 prominent journalists and guests attend this annual event to celebrate the best in American journalism. Proceeds from the evening support the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program.

The evening also honors annual recipients of the Thomas L. Phillips Career Achievement Award, and the Kenneth Y. Tomlinson Award for Outstanding Journalism.

Applications are currently closed for the 2018-19 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program. Applications for the 2019-20 program will open during the winter of 2018-19.


Robert Novak’s Legacy

American journalist Robert Novak provided the inspiration for this program in 1994 as a way to nurture a new generation of responsible journalists. The program was renamed in Mr. Novak’s honor following his passing in 2009. Today, the Novak Program has awarded 141 fellowships to promising young journalists who are climbing the ranks as groundbreaking reporters, editors, editorial page writers, columnists and authors.


As a young journalist, I was thrilled when I got a job as a researcher for a New York Times op-ed columnist. But I worried about finding the time and energy to do my own research, reporting and writing. A part-time Novak Journalism Fellowship provided the motivation – and resources – for me to keep working under my own byline while I labored behind the scenes at the Times.”
– Katherine Mangu-Ward (Novak 05)
Editor-in-Chief of Reason

Novak Fellows include Steve Hayes (AIPES 94, Novak 00) of The Weekly Standard and Fox News, Katherine Mangu-Ward (Novak 05) of Reason, Mollie Hemingway (Novak 04) of Fox News and The Federalist and Tim Carney (Novak 03) of the Washington Examiner. For a full list of fellowship recipients, click here.


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Novak Fellows News

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Novak Fellow Robby Soave Extols Virtues of Debate and Free Speech to TFAS Students

When debate dies, who loses? Robby Soave (Novak 17), associate editor at Reason.com and 2017 TFAS Robert Novak Journalism Fellow, tackled this question during the first TFAS all-institute lecture of our 2018 U.S. Summer Programs. Pulling from his experience…

Introducing the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Award Recipients

The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is pleased to announce the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship award recipients. Our 2018 Fellows are Tim Alberta (Novak 18) of Politico Magazine, Christine Emba (Novak 18) of The Washington Post, Scott Greer (Novak…

TFAS Announces Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism

The Fund for American Studies is proud to announce the creation of the Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism. The fellowship is named in honor of Joseph Rago, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal who died…

Seeking Applicants for $35,000 to $75,000 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowships

The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is now accepting applications for the 2018-19 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program. The Novak Fellowship Program awards fellowships of $35,000 for working journalists and up to $75,000 for journalists who make their…

Five TFAS and FTE Alumni Named to Forbes Prestigious “30 Under 30” List

This week, Forbes released its “30 Under 30” list of young leaders who are reinventing the world in 20 different professional fields. TFAS is proud to congratulate five alumni honorees among the class of 2018, including three of the 30 honorees…

Daniel McCarthy Named Director of Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program

The Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program is pleased to welcome its new program director, Daniel McCarthy, who joins the program via The American Conservative, where he was the magazine’s editor from 2010–2016. A native of Missouri, Daniel graduated…

TFAS Alumnus Stephen Hayes Named Editor-in-Chief of The Weekly Standard

The Weekly Standard has named TFAS trustee and two-time alumnus, Stephen Hayes (AIPES 94, Novak 00), as its new editor-in-chief. Hayes currently serves as the publication’s senior editor, and will assume the role from Bill Kristol, who co-founded the magazine…

$75K and $35K Robert Novak Journalism Fellowships Offered by The Fund for American Studies

TFAS is searching for outstanding print and electronic journalists with less than 10 years of professional experience to apply for our 2017-18 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowships. This prestigious year-long program awards $75,000 full-time fellowships and $35,000…

TFAS Awards Young Journalists $135,000 in Fellowships During Gala Evening at National Press Club

The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2016 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship awards. Please see below to read the impressive biographies of these young journalists and to learn about their fellowship writing projects.…

Neal Freeman Tapped To Lead Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program

  The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) announces that businessman, political essayist and philanthropist Neal B. Freeman has been chosen to serve as chairman of the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program. Retired publishing entrepreneur Thomas L.…